5th Annual Limina Conference – UWA

Yesterday I woke especially early to make it to the University of Western Australia and attend the 5th Annual Limina Conference (it started at 8.30!).

Limina is a refereed academic online journal published through the Discipline of History at UWA. It focuses on cultural and historical research work and aims to publish post-graduate students and Early Career Researches. The annual conference is  a chance to hear the papers that make up the journal being presented by their writers, a keynote and, this year, a panel on the experience of “The Thesis, The Work, The Job” – a chance to ask academics about their experiences and how they progressed through their careers.

The papers that were presented were very varied. From ‘The Milanese anarchist movement at the beginning of the 20th Century’ to ‘New Methods for old records: New insights into historical research of the family’ and ran from the 10th century to contemporary film adaptations of novels. All up there were ten papers – a good amount, worth giving up a day for and they were all excellent.

The keynote was by Dr Tiffany Shellam from Deakin University. She spoke about Phillip Parker King’s meetings with the Indigenous People in the Albany area around 1820. This was a fascinating presentation as she was reporting not on his published narrative but on archival notes and journals of King and others who accompanied him on his voyages. These records have been underused and she aims to bring their rich information to light.

The other standout paper was the already-mentioned ‘New Methods for old records’. This was by a current PhD candidate, Lesley Silvester. She has used a unique census record in Norwich from 1570 that recorded the poor of the parish as well as additional records of the time to develop a longitudinal study of these families and thereby developing an understanding of life for this class of people at this time.

I came away exhausted (naturally) but enthused and have decided that when it comes time to start my PhD it will most definitely be at UWA.

On another note, the conference was run out of the Institute of Advanced Studies which is in the Irwin Street Building on the campus. When I looked at the map of the campus to work out where I was going I was confused by this – there is no Irwin Street and in fact, the building isn’t on a street at all. I spent some of the break time walking around the verandah of the building and discovered that it was the original university building – a weatherboard house that stood on Irwin Street in the city. When the campus was acquired at Crawley it was moved there. This makes it a very interesting building because I’d be surprised if any weather board buildings still exist in Perth and it gives some sense of what the streets of Perth might have been like in the early 1900s. A nice added bonus.

I also organised to borrow books from the library at the uni with my Curtin Uni card and then promptly left it there. So I must go back and get it.

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